Lok Sabha passed Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015

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Who: Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill, 2015
What: Passed by Lok Sabha
When: 17 December 2015

The Lok Sabha on 17 December 2015 passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Bill aims to make the arbitration process friendlier and cost effective for investors, ensuring speedy disposal of cases.

The Bill aims to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

The amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 were approved by the Union Cabinet in August 2015.

Provisions of the Bill
• It amends Section 12 to the effect that when a person is approached in connection with possible appointment of arbitrator, he shall disclose in writing about existence of any relationship or interest of any kind, which is likely to give rise to justifiable doubts.
• Further, if a person is having specified relationship, he shall be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator.
• It states that the Arbitral Tribunal shall make its award within a period of 12 months. Parties may extend such period up to six months. Thereafter, it can only be extended by the Court, on sufficient cause.
• It calls for fast track procedure for conducting arbitration. Parties to the dispute may agree that their dispute be resolved through fast track procedure. Award in such cases shall be given in six months period.
• It provides that application to challenge the award is to be disposed of by the Court within one year.
• It states that mere filing of an application for challenging the award would not automatically stay execution of the award. Award can only be stayed where the Court passed any specific order.
• It adds that an application for appointment of an Arbitrator shall be disposed of by the High Court or Supreme Court as expeditiously as possible within 60 days.
• It also provides comprehensive provisions for costs regime. It is applicable both to arbitrators as well as related litigation in Court. It will avoid frivolous and meritless litigation/arbitration.
• It empowers the Arbitral tribunal to grant all kinds of interim measures which the Court is empowered to grant and such order shall be enforceable in the same manner as if it is an order of Court.